Feta and Pasta is my favorite pasta cheese combo. I’ve talked about it before here when I made feta, pesto, and macaroni.
Pasta and cheese for me was always one of my go-to items to eat as a kid, it’s very simple to make from a parent’s standpoint and it’s hard to piss of a child by just feeding them carbs and cheese. But like I’ve mentioned in the past, normal pasta and cheese was never in the cards for me, so we either had American cheese slices with spaghetti noodles melted OR you’d have pasta (any kind of noodle really) with olive oil and feta cheese. The latter was always my favorite, my sweet next door neighbor who was Turkish would always make it for me when I was over her house (which was a lot when I was a little kid as she would look after us when I was about 6 or 7 when my Mom worked). I’ve kept in touch with her my entire life and I always have viewed her and her family as my second family. But anyways, I digress.
My love for feta cheese runs deep. It’s at every breakfast table in a Iranian household, paneer-e-Irani is what it’s called in Farsi, which literally translates to Persian cheese. Keep in mind that feta itself is not native to Iran, authentic traditional feta is deeply rooted in Ancient Greece as it goes back as far as 800 BC. In fact to call anything feta, it has to be produced from sheep’s/goat’s milk in Greece, anything else has to be called feta styled cheese. Anyway you want to slice it, other Middle Eastern cultures have cheese that is very similar to feta cheese, primarily because cattle are not a major livestock but rather lamb and goats are.
Back to the story, feta styled cheese is at every meal in an Iranian household, you typically will have it after your meal if it’s dinner or for lunch or for breakfast. I could literally eat noon-e-paneer every single day of the week for the rest of my life if I had to. It’s that comforting for me (Noon-e-Paneer is bread and cheese, specifically Persian bread with Persian cheese). A pro-tip for when you’re buying feta, make sure you buy feta that is already in a salt water brine, or put it in one right away. This keeps the cheese moist and fresh for a long time. I like to use Bulgarian feta styled cheese because it’s creamier than the Greek and it’s not as salty. You can find it at Whole Foods or at any international Mediterranean grocer.
Recipe – Pasta & Feta
1 Cup of Feta Cheese
2 Cups of Macaroni or Fusili Pasta
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
4 Cups of Water (salted to taste like sea water)
Step 1- Boil Water
Step 2- Add Pasta
Step 3- Cook Pasta
Step 4- Strain pasta, allow for about 2 tbsp. of pasta water to remain.
Step 5- Add in olive oil and butter stir, allow to cool slightly, so pasta is not piping hot so it will melt cheese.
Step 6- Add feta cheese in, stir, and serve!
- 1 Cup of Feta Cheese
- 2 Cups of Macaroni or Fusili Pasta
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 4 Cups of Water (salted to taste like sea water)
- Step 1- Boil Water
- Step 2- Add Pasta
- Step 3- Cook Pasta
- Step 4- Strain pasta, allow for about 2 tbsp. of pasta water to remain.
- Step 5- Add in olive oil and butter stir, allow to cool slightly, so pasta is not piping hot so it will melt cheese.
- Step 6- Add feta cheese in, stir, and serve!